Did you know that roughly 3/4 of accidents involving tractor-trailers are actually the fault of the other vehicle? Truck safety is rarely discussed in driver education classes, causing many people to not know how to drive safely near these large vehicles. Here are some basic safety tips that all drivers should know to help avoid having an accident with a big-rig:
1. Give Truckers Lots of Room
a. Despite their heavy weight, trucks are quite heavy and can tip over during heavy winds.
b. Tire blowouts are common, putting your vehicle in the line of fire of a swerving truck and heavy rubber shards.
2. Tractor-Trailers Have A Lot of Blind Spots
a. The blind spots are far greater on the passenger side than the drivers side
i. If you need to pass, do so on the left side, as quickly as possible.
3. Do Not Cut a Big-Rig Off
a. Due to their size and weight, it can take a trucker 3 football fields to come to a complete stop when they are traveling 60mph.
4. Truckers Make Wide Turns
a. Give them their space! Right hand turns are much wider than left hand turns. The right side of the rig is full of blind spots; do not try to creep up in the right lane if the trucker swings left first to give themselves room to turn right! They will not be able to see you until it is too late.
Be sure to keep these simple safety tips in mind the next time you are driving near a tractor-trailer. Having a better understanding for how these rigs work can help prevent an accident in the future! For more information, check out Mike Roger’s article: http://www.drive-safely.net/truck-safety-training.html to hear a trucker’s perspective on big-rig safety.